Brae Pasture Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationThere is no car park for the reserve. There is a pull-in by the reserve gate, room for 2/3 cars. Please note B6479 (Gauber Road) can be busy with fast traffic and poor visibility.
Grazing animalsSheep and cattle graze from late summer into late autumn after the traditional late summer haycut.
A public footpath crosses the site leading to Ingleborough National Nature Reserve.
Wheelchair access possible in dry weather only from Eastern gate and limited to an uphill grassy track. Wheelchair access ceases once the short track ends but sight across the lower field from this point is possible.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitJune
Brae Pasture is located on the edge of the Ingleborough Massif, therefore, where limestone is exposed botanical diversity is greatly influenced by the calcareous bedrock. However, elsewhere on site where there are thicker soils neutral and acid grassland can be found. A wooded gill is located along the northern boundary of the site, which surrounds a temporal watercourse that runs along the base of the boundary stone wall.
Whilst only covering two fields, Brae Pasture has an impressive variety of habitats including limestone pavement, acid grassland, calcareous flush and a wooded cliff gill. Home to over 150 plant species, several notable ones grow here including the uncommon Oeder’s apple moss (so called as its capsules looks like miniature apples) and the rare Alpine bistort. Early purple orchid, violet, primrose and yellow rock-rose provide colour throughout spring and summer.
In spring curlew can be heard calling and cuckooflower and barren strawberry can be seen in flower. In summer a range of butterflies will be in flight including common blue over the grassland. Meadow pipit and skylark will be nesting on site. In autumn harebells will be in full flower.
There is evidence of human settlement in the reserve, which can be seen today as a network of ditch and field boundaries. These are probably of a late Iron Age or Romano-British date and form one of a number of settlements from Ribblehead to Horton Village.
- Spring: Plants - Cuckooflower; Barren Strawberry; Bluebells; Early Purple Orchid
- Summer: Plants - Rock-rose; Alpine bistort; Northern Brown Argus; Yellow Rattle; Invertebrates - Common blue
- Autumn: Plants - Harebell
- Winter: Birds - Stonechat, Fieldfare, Redwing
The nearest train station is in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Head north from Horton-in-Ribblesdale village on B6479. Pass under a railway bridge and travel on for ¾ mile. Once you pass a public footpath sign pull in shortly on your left. Access to the nature reserve is via a stone stile along the public footpath.